Wolves under-23s can win their first piece of silverware in three years when they make the short journey to the Hawthorns this evening and face West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League Cup final.
In what will be the biggest youth version of the Black Country derby in history, the development sides of the local rivals will go head-to-head from 7pm on Friday for the chance to win the coveted trophy for the first time.
James Collins’ side are in stunning form ahead of their first ever appearance in the competition’s final having fallen to just one defeat in their league campaign since the turn of the year.
Wolves have won 10 of their last 12 matches in all competitions, a run which also included a 4-0 victory against West Brom at New Buck’s Head in Premier League 2.
But with attention turning to the cup this evening, the under-23s will be hoping to not only claiming the trophy, but also Black Country bragging rights – as they aim to repeat what the women’s first-team were able to achieve on Wednesday night, winning 4-1 over the Baggies to lift the Birmingham County Cup.
Wolves will be boosted by their impressive run in this seasons PL Cup this season, finishing second in their group behind PL2 Division 1 runners-up West Ham United, despite ending the group stage campaign with a win and a draw against the Hammers.
The under-23s also faced Swansea City and Exeter City in the first round before progressing to the last 16 and a visit to Wigan Athletic, where a 1-0 victory earned their place in the quarter-finals against Peterborough United, which ended in the same scoreline. Both games were decided by a single Chem Campbel goal, setting up a semi-final against Middlesbrough at Molineux, which Wolves won 3-2 thanks to Lee Harkin’s strike and a brace from Luke Cundle.
Black Country rivals West Brom reached the showpiece match after a run which saw them qualify from their group with four wins, one draw and a defeat, before overcoming Queens Park Rangers and Derby County ahead of securing a 2-1 win over PL2 Division 2 champions Fulham at The Hawthorns last Tuesday evening.
As well as competing for the cup, Wolves are also in with a chance of promotion to the top tier of English youth football, as they face Norwich City in the PL2 Division 2 Play-offs next week at Molineux, which can be watched for free by season ticket holders and members.
Wolves supporters attending this evening’s match should be aware that at the request of West Midlands Police, there will be no alcohol available to fans inside the Hawthorns and supporters should access the ground via the ramp from Middlemore Road.
Supporters who are unable to attend The Hawthorns this evening can watch all the action live, as the match is streamed online via wolves.co.uk, the Wolves App and the Wolves YouTube channel.
The live Wolves TV match stream, beginning at 6.55pm, can be found here, or click here to watch on YouTube, while supporters can also catch download the Wolves App now on iOS here and on Android here.
The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
3-2 vs Middlesbrough (H) PLC
2-0 vs Norwich City (A)
2-2 vs Stoke City (H)
2-1 vs Fulham (H) PLC
1-2 vs Stoke City (A)
3-2 vs Norwich City (H)
WHAT THE BOSS THINKS
Ahead of this evening’s match, head coach Collins said: “These games are brilliant to be involved in. I said to the players that this is what they work for and what you want to be involved in.
“If you’re playing well in games at the end of the season, and winning, that’s always a positive, and that’s what we want to do – win as many games as we can and finish the season strongly.
“We’ve got a really good bunch of players in there who fight for each other, work for each other, and represent this football club brilliantly well.
“Hopefully they’ll get their reward at the end of the season with either a promotion or a cup, or hopefully both. But whatever happens, they’ve represented this football club brilliantly.”
17/05 Norwich City (H) PL2 play-off semi-final